The wild things

284 pages

English language

Published Jan. 5, 2010 by Vintage Books.

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4 stars (5 reviews)

In a stunning act of imagination, Dave Eggers has adapted Maurice Sendak's children's classic, Where the Wild Things Are, into this richly drawn full-length novel, the story of a lonely boy navigating the emotional journey away from boyhood. Max is a rambunctious eight-year-old, living with his mother and his sister, terrorizing the neighborhood on his bicycle. But Max's world is changing around him: His father is absent and his mother is increasingly distracted. Max's teenage sister is outgrowing him, leaving him alone in favor of her friends. Sad and angry, Max dons his wolf suit and makes terrible, ruinous mischief. Setting off into the night, Max finds a boat and sails away to an island. Here he meets strange and giant creatures. Creatures that rage and break things. Creatures that trample and scream. These monsters do everything Max feels inside! And so, Max appoints himself their king. Here, on a …

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Review of 'The wild things' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

A straight-up psychological exploration of the young boy's mind, overlain on the structure of a beloved kids' book. I liked it! I remember being as angry as Max was, and not knowing what to do with that anger, but knowing anything I thought to do would somehow be wrong. I imagine every man (and many women) have the same memory. This book plugs into that, and the collection of beasts from Sendak's book become the embodiment of the childhood Id.

My only disappointment is that there wasn't a bit more real-world denouement. I haven't seen the movie, nor have I ever read the original Sendak book, so I came to the story fresh, and enjoyed it.

Review of 'The wild things' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Fabulous. Much better than the movie. Partially, this may be due to the small deviations the story takes from that of the screenplay. Mostly, though, this stands as a solid example of how books can tell a deeper story than film. Perhaps the movie could have revealed Max's psyche to us through first-person narration, but it's hard for me to imagine another medium allowing me to empathize with his struggles as I could here.

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  • Runaway children -- Fiction
  • Voyages and travels -- Fiction
  • Islands -- Fiction